Photo by Aysegul Yahsi
He said to Jacob, “Quick let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!”(That is why he was called Edom). Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is my birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Genesis 25:30-33
Genesis 25 gives us a tale of two brothers. Jacob and Esau, one cunning and deceptive; and another who was reckless and irresponsible.
In this culture, the first son was entitled to a birthright. The birthright gave him a double portion of the inheritance. Esau being the firstborn was entitled to a double inheritance.
Jacob understood what that meant and he wanted it for himself. He knew his brother well enough to discern he would give it to him without much care. But Esau didn’t value his inheritance and treated it with contempt. We are told, “ So Esau despised his birthright.” Genesis 25:34
Esau treated his inheritance with contempt and in a moment of hunger, traded it for a bowl of lentil stew. His actions seemed inconsequential. But when the time to receive the inheritance came, his actions echoed beyond the bowl of soup. Through trickery again, Jacob ends up getting the double blessing while Esau gets what was left. He realized that he had sold his birthright to his brother without quite meaning to (Genesis 27).
What is your bowl of soup? What is that momentary thing that you are trading your future for?
Esau valued satisfying his momentary hunger than his double inheritance. Jacob knew he could trade it in for a bowl of soup and he made him an offer.
Do you know you have a double inheritance in Christ? Do you know the value of your inheritance in God? Do you know what price has been paid for your inheritance? The enemy knows what we have. He knows exactly where we could end up in God but we often don’t. For fleeting satisfaction, he presents us with opportunities to trade in our birthright.
He knows the glory and blessing of the marriage God has for you, but you don’t. So, he places before you meaningless relationships to fill up your loneliness. And there you give away your inheritance.
He knows the people that God has called you to influence but for momentary affirmation and praises of men, or followers and likes you will trade it in.
He knows what your prayer and getting in the word of God diligently will produce, but you don’t. So he provides you with endless entertainment to satisfy your boredom. And there you trade it in for a bowl of soup.
Life will hand us a million opportunities to trade in our inheritance for a bowl of soup or stew. Whenever we don’t know the value of what it is we have been given, we’ll give it away.
A few things we can learn from Esau:
Whatever we treat with contempt, we lose. Anytime we don’t understand the value of something we lose it. Tragically, we often only understand the value of things after we lose them and cannot get them back.
We cannot afford to be ignorant of our inheritance in God. Paul prays for the saints in Ephesus and us, “ that we may know the riches of his glorious inheritance,” Ephesians 1:18. If we know what we have, then we will be sure to value and protect it.
We have a double inheritance. because of Christ and the price he paid for us. We are co-inheritors with Him as the firstborn of God. We get everything Jesus gets from the father, his peace, his wisdom, his authority and power, his resurrection, his glory, his victory, all of it is ours. “And if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs with God and co-heirs with Christ…” Romans 8:17
The enemy knows what we have even when we don’t. Like Jacob used trickery, the enemy knows what we have, even when we don’t. he knows the value of your peace, the value of your faith. He understands who you are and all you have in Christ and he makes sure you don’t find out so he can take it from you. He also knows where you’ll trade it all in. He knows what the kind of offer to make you for you to give it all away.
We are warned, be sober-minded; be watchful…1 Peter 5: 8 We won’t live recklessly and irresponsibly when we understand that there is someone who is looking for an opportunity to disinherit us.
Our temptations could be our bowl of soup. Often what we are tempted in is a reflection of where we are most vulnerable. The enemy knows this. If you have no problem with lust, he will not bother trying to tempt you with lust. If you have no problem with money, he will not bother you there. He only comes after us in our areas of vulnerability. Jacob knew Esau had a weakness with food, and he knew the compromises he would make to satisfy his hunger. Our desires are our greatest doors of temptation. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. James 1:14
Sometimes, small unimportant actions could be a trade-in for our inheritance.
We have to pay attention. We also have to remember there is an enemy that’s after our inheritance and he will do whatever it takes to take it from us.
Sis, don’t lay down your inheritance on the altar of momentary satisfaction.